Mandela8 Statement

We are less than a week away from achieving what was a dream 10 years ago.  Tuesday the 18th July is a day for celebration to realise that dream when we launch a memorial to Nelson Mandela.

This memorial has been achieved through years of hard work, determination and a lengthy consultation with the Mandela family, the local community, residents of Princes Park and civic leaders.

What was fundamental to us throughout this consultation was that the memorial signified the pride and respect the community have in Liverpool for Nelson Mandela and what he achieved in fighting for social justice.  The memorial signifies a place where people can come to learn, reflect and feel proud of what can be achieved when communities come together from different parts of the world.

We fully recognised that to achieve our goal of installing this memorial that everybody’s voice mattered and that is why we undertook extensive consultation throughout each stage of the development. 

In 2019 we launched the memorial, and we went through a formal planning process in which the impact on wildlife and animals was considered.  It is with great sadness that we have to notify people that objections have been raised at this very late stage by somebody concerned for the environment.  

We do not dispute that these issues are raised out of a genuine passion for wildlife.  However, we are extremely concerned that this issue may now be hijacked by far-right groups who will use this platform to bring disruption to this special day.  

Mandela8 would like to assure everybody, that the impact of the memorial on wildlife and the environment was fully considered throughout the consultation process. There are things we have put in place which have encouraged the wildlife in the area to thrive; but fundamentally Princes Park is an inner-city park in an area where many people do not have access to a garden or open space.

We ask that everybody who attends the event embraces this special day in recognition of Nelson Mandela who is an icon to us.  Please stand beside us and share our passion to educate people to love not hate.

Mandela8 Board of Directors

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Mandela8 is encouraging the people and businesses of the region to carry out acts of kindness for 67 minutes to mark Mandela Day this July.

Nelson Mandela spent 67 years of his life supporting social justice and human rights before he officially passed the baton to others on his 90th Birthday – on the 18th July – now officially named ‘Mandela Day’ each year. At a special ceremony in Hyde Park, he asked everyone to spend 67 minutes of their time taking part in an act of kindness for someone else.

Mandela8 is now spearheading the ‘My 67 Minutes’ campaign to encourage everyone to take that 67 minutes out of their day to do something special, whether it be for a family member, friend or for their local community.

Sonia Bassey, Chair of Mandela8 said, “The idea of Mandela Day is that everyone has the ability to make an impact and do something in their own way to change the world and the world of those around them. We want to see thousands of individual acts of kindness all across the world, ideally on Mandela Day – Sunday 18th July – or in the week leading up to the day itself, which we’ve named Mandela week, from the 12th – 18th July.”

Mandela8 have provided an online brochure of ideas and activities on their website, which can be carried out by individuals, community groups or businesses.

Some of the ideas in the brochure include litter-picks, carrying out jobs for a vulnerable neighbour, and donating to local foodbanks. Those taking part can share their ideas and successes with others online using the hashtag #Mandela8My67 and encourage others to get involved.

“This year we will obviously have to continue to take part in activities that do not risk the spread of coronavirus or break any local restrictions” Sonia continued. “With this in mind, our new brochure has lots of COVID-safe ideas for activities that you and your family members can take part in.”

Mandela Day was officially declared by the United Nations in November 2009, to acknowledge the revolutionary leader’s values and dedication to the service of humanity and struggle for international democracy and peace throughout the world.

The day remembers Mandela’s achievements in working towards conflict resolution, democracy, human rights, peace, and reconciliation.

 Liverpool has its own special relationship and connection with Nelson Mandela, dating back to his time in prison. When those in the city became aware of Apartheid – the system of legislation that upheld segregationist policies against non-white citizens of South Africa – and Nelson Mandela’s incarceration, community activists, unions and local people from all walks of life came together to support the Free Nelson Mandela Campaign. Mandela was gifted the Freedom of the City in 1994 and a Civic Reception was held in his honour 20 years later in 2014.

In previous years, iconic buildings across the Liverpool City Region lit up yellow for Mandela Day and Mandela8 are asking everyone to encourage their own place of work to do the same this year.

St George’s Hall was one of the city’s historic buildings included in the line-up; a building which has its own recent links with the Mandela family. A series of prints, drawn by Nelson Mandela himself and known as the ‘Struggle’ series, were gifted to Liverpool for a permanent display in 2018, and now take pride of place in St George’s Hall. Merchandise featuring the designs of the prints have also just been launched via The House of Mandela.

The My 67 Minutes campaign has the support of a host of key figures in the Liverpool City Region, including the newly elected Mayor, Joanne Anderson.

“Liverpool has a long and proud association with Nelson Mandela, from making him a Freeman of Liverpool through to the Mandela8 education and memorial project at Princes Park”, Joanne said. “He selflessly campaigned to make this world a better place for 67 years and we are delighted to be working in close partnership with Mandela8 to ensure his legacy is never forgotten. Many of us lead extremely busy lives but kindness costs nothing and I would encourage everyone to do a little bit on Sunday 18 July, which collectively will make a big difference to the lives of others.”

Sonia added, “Liverpool is built on strong political and social values and has experienced oppression but not on the scale of South Africa. So when awareness of the brutality of Apartheid in South Africa became known in Liverpool, the city united to support Mandela, the ANC and South African people.”

Mandela8’s Mandela Week takes place on week commencing 12th July, with Mandela Day itself taking place on Sunday 18th July 2021 across the world. For ideas on how to get involved in the My 67 Minutes campaign, click here.

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Sponsored by Torus Foundation

Liverpool charitable organisation Mandela8 marked Mandela Day this year by encouraging the public to take part in a whole week of activities aimed at promoting community cohesion and highlighting those who have been affected by the ongoing pandemic.

The group behind the new Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park had originally planned for a visit from Mandela’s family to mark its opening this July, but sadly plans had to be put on hold due to both construction work and travel being so adversely affected by the lockdown.

Adapting to the country’s current situation, the charity decided they would instead use the week – commencing 13th July – to recognise the not only the pain and suffering that local communities are going through but also provide a space for organisations to recognise the work their staff and volunteers have done to help people during Covid-19.

As part of their #My67Minutes campaign – sponsored by Torus Foundation – participants were encouraged to spend 67 minutes of their day taking part in their chosen act of kindness; one minute for every year of Mandela’s public service.

Highlights of the week included:

Be sure to keep up with all our activity throughout the year and our plans for what’s set to be a huge Mandela Week for 2021 by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Photo: Agent Marketing

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 Ahead of Mandela Day this coming Saturday, Liverpool charity, Mandela8 have announced Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, as their newest patron.

The first ever elected African-Caribbean woman to become a Government Minister in the UK, Dawn ran a hugely successful campaign in 2015, winning her vote with a majority of nearly 20,000; giving the largest vote swing in England at the time.

The former Shadow Minister for Women & Equalities has twice been awarded by the Patchwork Foundation as the People’s Choice Labour Party MP of the Year and again as Overall MP of the Year. Dawn is a member of the House of Commons Science & Technology Select Committee, Chair of the APPG for Jamaica and APPG for Governance & Inclusive Leadership. Dawn was previously appointed as the Minister for Young Citizens & Youth Engagement at the Cabinet Office by Prime Minister Gordon Brown becoming the first ever African-Caribbean woman to serve as a Government Minister. 

The announcement comes as Mandela8 – the organisation behind the new Nelson Mandela memorial in Princes Park, which will also feature an outdoor classroom – are marking ‘Mandela Week’ this year with their annual ‘My 67 Minutes’ campaign (sponsored by Torus Foundation, Platinum Sponsors for the previously scheduled visit from the Mandela Family), which aims to bring people together through acts of kindness and community cohesion.

Last year’s programme reached over 230,000 young people across the Liverpool City Region, Chester and Warrington with hundreds of volunteer hours being recorded across communities in the North West.

The charity is also in its final week of crowdfunding to support the city’s most vulnerable during lockdown with food parcels, hygiene packs and art activities for young children.

Dawn said: 
 
“It is an honour to become a Patron of Mandela8 and to work with them to create a lasting memorial to the legendary Nelson Mandela in Liverpool. Mandela inspired me, just as he inspired so many around the world after spending 27 years in prison so that black people can have equal rights and votes and to end the brutal apartheid regime. It is upon his shoulders on which I stand. I hope that this memorial and Mandela’s story serves to inspire a new generation to campaign against racial injustice in the UK and beyond in the fight for equality and equity.”

Chair of Mandela8, Sonia Bassey said:

Dawn is a Windrush child, as many in our communities are, and she has worked hard from a young age to achieve what she has in Parliament and she has a deep rooted commitment to challenging inequality. I’m delighted that the first Black woman to speak from the dispatch box and the first ever elected African Caribbean women to serve in Cabinet has agreed to become a patron for Mandela8. We cant wait to welcome her back to Liverpool”.

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Dr Maki Mandela, daughter of Nelson Mandela, sends Mandela8 a message for Mandela Week 2020 and this year’s #My67Minutes campaign.

Find out more about this year’s Campaign here: https://www.mandela8.org.uk/mandela-week-2020/

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A message from our Chair, Sonia Bassey, MBE:

Following recent advice and direction by Government regarding Covid-19 that large gatherings should not take place and recent school, university and public venue closures, we have taken the decision to postpone Mandela Week and the Mandela family visit.

In agreement with Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela and our partners and sponsors we will be organizing the visit to take place during July 2021, government guidelines permitting.

All our efforts at this time should be directed at our vulnerable and elderly in society and our health and emergency services.

Our programme for the visit included all schools across the Liverpool City Region, a range of public events across Cheshire and Merseyside and two major celebration events so understandably these cannot take place at this time.

Dr Maki and Tukwini Mandela said: “We are sorry we cannot be with you in July this year. It is important that we take all our Governments advice seriously and stay safe. We look forward to being with you all next year in Liverpool and you have a heartfelt and sincerest best wishes for you and your families during this difficult time”.

Your health and wellbeing remain our greatest priority and Mandela8 are currently revising a range of activities we are committed to so that people can still take part via social media or digital solutions. These include our Roots and Wings Young Leaders Programme and our National Heritage Lottery Fund Memorial and Legacy Programme.

We would like to thank you, our sponsors and funders for your ongoing support and want you to stay safe and look out for each other.

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The feedback is still coming in from what was a fantastic day of #My67Minutes activities and Mandela Day Celebration in 2019. Here are just some of the facts and figures (correct as of 7th October, 2019):

In Cheshire East alone there were 11 primary schools and 3 secondary schools taking part with a total of 5929 pupils taking part.  All schools received a copy of the Long Walk to Freedom.  All had access to the 67 ideas brochure and the primary and secondary school presentation for school assembly’s. 

6 volunteers organised: a Mandela cake raffle; 67 cup cake sale; organised the school programme with over 101 participants (excludes school numbers above) using 22 volunteer hours. The raffle raised over £300 and was donated to My Cheshire Without Abuse, a Crewe based charity.  

Additionally in Cheshire and Warrington a Winsford school took part with 750 pupils taking part.

Overall for Mandela Day for feedback forms received back the following info / stats were recorded:

·        20 youth centres participated

·        15 voluntary organisations participated

·        Expansion to schools across the wider Liverpool City Region (and additional 408 primary schools and 61 secondary schools –total schools then involved 530 – 231,589 pupils)

·        Expansion to schools in Cheshire and Warrington (12 primary and 3 secondary schools – total schools then involved 15 – 6,679 pupils)

·        4 schools across Liverpool City Region signed up to Schools Pledge to use the memorial garden for educational purposes once installed

·        4 barrel gardens developed for schools who were part of the Start of Works on Site Ceremony

·        A total of 192 volunteers took part

·        A total of 995 volunteer hours were recorded

·        A total of 5361 participants took part (excluding schools). 

·        A total of 243,629 participants took part including schools. 

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